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Improvements

Back in March, upcoming changes to the backend of Bing and its voice capabilities (aka TellMe) were revealed with the promise that those improvements were coming to all Windows Phones. Those changes included significantly faster searches, more accurate transcription and improved accuracy in noisy environments.

Microsoft has just let it out that these changes are now official. That means if you pick up your Windows Phone right now and try to transcribe a text message or do a voice Bing Search, you should noticed the improvements. As these updates come from Microsoft’s servers, there is no OS update needed.

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The Windows Phone Tango update brought a few minor improvements to our Windows Phone but it may have served up the most noticeable improvements with the Nokia Lumia 900, well specifically Nokia's firmware that came with the update. Out of the box, we weren't' overly excited about the Lumia 900's camera performance. Comparatively, the HTC Titan II's camera was a joy to use and was rather impressive.

Enter the Windows Phone Tango update. It included a Nokia firmware component for the Lumia 900 that tweaked the camera just enough to elevate the camera's performance from "lacking" to "rather nice" status. The HTC Titan II still rules but you won't be cringing every time you take a photo with your Lumia 900, hoping things come out right.

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We now have WhatsApp on the Marketplace for Mango users as of yesterday, which turned out to be relatively bare in terms of features, but functionality is present. We've now caught word of Simon Luk from WeLoveWP.hk contacting the developers asking whether or not more functionality will be implemented in the future.

In the above image we see Jan Koum from WhatsApp stating that the team is "committed very strongly" to Windows Phone and will be adding many features as well as fixing reported bugs. So sit tight with what we have thus far, the future is looking bright for WhatsApp.

Source: WeLoveWP

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Since its inception, suggestions have been scouring the internet on how to improve Windows Phone 7. We ran across an interesting list of suggestions that come from a developer's perspective. While recognizing that Windows Phone 7 is a "modern, well-throughout and refreshing OS" the article concentrates on technical and strategic changes that would help with WP7's longevity.

Along with UI Virtualization and Hardware Acceleration, here are some of the suggestions offered that an end-user might agree with:

Fix Push Notifications: From capping the number of apps that can receive push notifications to the overall reliability of push notifications, this area needs improvements.

Improve the Home Screen: I've grown fond of the Home/Start Screen with Windows Phone 7 but, as suggested on the list, the design comes at the expense of application discovery and usability.  Sometimes it just takes forever to swipe down to the app you're looking for.  We've heard mention of folders but what about having multiple sets of tiles? Have a Home Screen Hub of sorts?

Update the Back and Search Button Behavior: Change the Back Button functionality to only navigate within the context of an app. Then add a long press that would take you to the previous application. It is also suggested that the Search Button should be contextual to the app running. A long-press would pull up BING and pressing the Search Button on the Home Screen would search your device. These suggestions would help eliminate the accidental presses that send you completely out of an app.

The author also touches on the need for a companion Windows Phone 7 tablet. A tablet allows you to scale up Windows Phone 7 and allows for developers and Microsoft to tap into a secondary market.

I agree with one of the closing thoughts in that Windows Phone success is a matter of execution and strategy. Microsoft has a very good foundation and next month we'll see how the first step in its growth takes shape.

Source: Orktane

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